THE 58TH VENICE ART BIENNALE | EVOCATIVE ART

Of course, all art I like, I find evocative in some way, and there was a lot at the Biennale. However, I just want to talk about one specific piece that seemed to evoke many thoughts in me. It was another piece by Lee Bul (who I have already written about). There was something about this piece which I found incredibly thought provoking. It was an assembled 3D ‘collage’ sculpture / installation. A fan was installed within the piece and billowing out black fabric in constant bubbly ripples. This instantly, for me, created the sense of something alive within, something living and breathing. This, in combination with the nature of the ‘thrown together’, old/used looking materials, bundled up together (including a reflective, silver material), made me think of a homeless person sleeping within the bundle. However, the overall sloping, majestic form the artist had created, to me, was incredibly reminiscent of a throne for some reason. Hence, the contrast between a homeless person and a throne being so strongly evoked in the same piece, I thought, was remarkable, and a sensitive, possible commentary on humanity. It is likely the artist may have thought of something else when creating the piece, but that is what I saw. The billowing, black fabric was reminiscent of a black liquid, evoking the idea of an oil spillage. The reflective silver material in the piece evoked silver blankets, that one sees, not only used by the homeless to keep them warm but also used by refugees who travel/arrive by sea. So similar to her other piece, there were marine references here and possible commentaries on human abuse of the environment, but also on human abuse / political abuse of other humans, war, and the current state of humanity around the world, from urban poverty to humanitarian crises such as the refugee crisis. It brings to mind Gandhi’s famous quote ‘poverty is the worst form of violence’.



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